In December 2017, ACES began a new service of transporting students to Aldi.
Earlier in the year, Campus Cupboard got in contact with Chief Tom Phillis and the four directors of ACES with a proposal to begin a new service on campus that would provide students with the opportunity to access fresh food. Though Campus Cupboard exists to help fight food insecurity on campus, it felt that the needs of students were not being fully met as the cupboard only provides non-perishable food items.
The original idea was to have the new service transport students to Aldi on a weeknight during ACES’ normal service hours. However, after further consideration, it was decided that running the service on a weeknight would conflict too much with other rides. It was then decided that the service would be run on Saturday’s from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. so that all students would have access to it.
Starting in December, ACES tested out the idea. Junior Cheyenne Morton who is one of the ACES’ directors said, “We weren’t expecting to have anyone use it at all but on average we have eighteen riders. It’s nice because those who don’t have access to food are using it, or students who don’t have access to a car are using it.”
Sophomore Sophie Nevel is a driver for the service.
“People can request a ride from wherever they are to Aldi, and then we’ll pick them up and take them there. Then obviously I’ll go pick up other people if there are other calls, but if not, I literally can just wait for them at Aldi and then when they’re done, if I’m there, they can either hop in or they can call back for a ride,” Nevel said. “I think that it’s super useful and convenient and I wish more people knew about it.”
Though the service is not nearly as popular as a regular night, it is still being used enough so as to ensure that it continues. For the time being, the service will only be making trips to Aldi.
“Aldi is really cheap price-wise compared to other grocery stores, and they do have a large variety of products, so you’re still getting good products that Hy-Vee would offer,” Morton said. “It’s also the closest in distance so if a student needed to walk back it would be the safest.”
Junior Kelcie Fredrickson, another director for ACES said, “I hope that we get enough people to use the service that we are required to extend our hours. We most likely will not be able to add more days due to schedules and whatnot, so the weekends may be the only time we run it. However, this isn’t stopping us from adding another time Sunday.”
Photo above: ACES driver Amy Green (’20) waits outside of Aldi during an ACES special event that transports students to Aldi from campus. Photo by Kevin Donovan